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Ship's Cook - Which Discipline?


Our vessel is a Ranger-class Scout (from the old FASA days) and the deckplans we found online shows a galley, which makes sense given that true replication doesn’t exist yet, and even with protein resequencing we know from dialog in “Charlie X” that there is a galley on NCC-1701, and we see the galley on NCC-1701-A in Undiscovered Country. We reasoned that since these ships are truly tiny, it was simpler to include a galley, and it was a morale concession since the ships do long patrols without much in the way of recreational facilities.

Immediately, one of my players wanted to play the ship’s cook. We’ve been having a lively discussion as to which Discipline this skill would normally fall under. Engineering because it’s a craft? Is cooking a Science? I searched for the term in the core book, and on this forum and found no clarification thus far. Anybody have an opinion?

Maybe Engineering, Science, or Medicine. I could see any of the three working depending on the character and circumstances. I’d use the Ship’s Cook material from the Klingon core and adapt as desired.


What about Conn? Cooking is mostly ‘following protocol’ and it would let Conn shine a little more? I always felt it’s the d12 of STA’s disciplines. :slight_smile:

I would probably go with Science if I was playing. Essentially on the basis that it is just a form of chemistry.
Though some of the multi-tier cakes I’ve seen definitely require Engineering knowledge.

“Baking is science for hungry people” :nerd_face:

@TheOldDragoon, since you mentioned that it was a “morale concession,” why not red for the Command division? The Morale Officer is generally part of the Command division, after all.

As another option, you could have the ship’s cook be a civilian rather than either an officer or enlisted member of the crew, similar to how Guinan was the barkeep on the Enterprise-D or how Neelix was the ship’s cook on Voyager. (He was also the morale officer, as you may recall, but was not part of the Starfleet crew despite being in that role.)

If the cook is a member of Starfleet, however, it would seem inappropriate for him to be ranked as a commissioned officer, though. Such duties are typically assigned to an enlisted man of one rank or another. In such a case, you might suggest to your player that he have two PCs that he plays: the cook (who would probably get limited play time) and an officer in another part of the ship (so that he is more involved in the action and not sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to happen that involves Culinary Services).

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The two personnel assigned to the galley are Ables’men under the supervision of the Logistics Specialist First Class who is the ship’s supply NCO. I see where you’re going with the Guinan reference, but in the time period we’re playing, and given the nature of the mission of these small patrol/intelligence “boats”, I don’t think a civilian would work well in the position at this point in the timeline (2270s-80s)

Using the “Monster Maroon” era ranks, these folks would be the the period equivalent of Crewman First Class, with the silver square pin on their shoulder tabs.

Ooooh! I just purchased the Klingon corebook, an didn’t think to look there. I mean, gagh is best when served live… :slight_smile:

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Oh, I forgot to mention.

The ship’s compliment is 36 souls all told. 4 officers, 5 chiefs (one Senior Chief), 20 Petty Officers, and 7 Crewmen/Ables’men. With a crew that small there is no security department, the Senior Chief has that role in addition to his duties as Senior Enlisted Advisor, and creates teams as needed from available personnel. The idea being Ables’man Asha, our Denobulan cook, will end up being selected for landing party duties when they come up, and due to her background as a 12-year veteran of Starfleet who is still in the Crewman grades ends up being the mentor and sounding board of the other six E-2s and E-3s she bunks with as their unofficial leader.

The eventual plan is to have a supporting character sheet for each and every member of the 31 non-player characters aboard fleshed out by the end of our first few play sessions. In the first session of our “Pilot Episode” last weekend, we created two such characters during play, taking turns allowing the players to assign stats, personality traits, and Focuses to the Navigator and Supply NCO. It was fun to let the players craft their shipmates.

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Sounds really cool! And the way how you integrate the cook into the away missions is just great! :smiley:

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OK, background so this is understandable - Cooking is one of my only hobbies that is not completely money & time wasting, it is a zen thing for me. Because of that I watch a lot of cooking youtube etc. Plus, in the AF, though I was combat focused, my main job fell into a science field, … with that, I watch and think about a lot of eclectic things from different angles

With that, one time I watched a youtube show where a science focused guy had a cook off with a chef (I think French, but might be wrong on that). The chef presented a dish and explained it, then the science guy would cook it a modern science way and he’d season it etc as he thought it should be. At the same time the chef would cook the dish the classic cooking way - he , or one of his assistant cooks, would even give the science guy hints “You know those potatoes are more waxy and good for roasting, but not for the mash potatoes we are making”.

On each dish the science guy made a decent dish, but each time the chef’s dish came out better.

By the end, the science guy even admitted he was missing those little things that make cooking an ART.

With that science may be a part of it, but not all and not enough to justify the ship’s cook being a science guy.

However, I cede the point on baking. I LOVE to cook, but tell me to bake something and it is NOT GOOD, and yes baking is even more a science than cooking, so my argument may be a wash in the long run.

Now for a cook on the ship. my military experience is more ground focused, so I know what would apply if that was the focus. However, any Navy guys around here would have better insight on cooks in the Navy aboard ship.

From my (very limited) Navy history knowledge, I’d say the cook(s) were under the supply or something else from operations - an experienced enlisted type. They may have one or 2 assistance assigned to them (or pulled from the crew if they had the skills and interest needed to be a cook) and then other crew would pull duty doing KP (or the Navy version of KP)

Now for a ship that size. I myself have cooked meals and BBQed for that many to a little more with just the help of my 2 daughters (my wife and I have way different mindsets in the kitchen and putting her in there with me and the girls cooking for that many would go very badly very quickly). Outside of the actual cooking, my wife and others as they showed would take care of putting drinks on ice, putting the plates etc out. SO with that, for a ship that size, you would need a cook, 2 assistants (either assigned to him or rotating as a general crew duty) and a few others each day for KP duties (which are rotating or for those crewmen that got in a little trouble)

It is probably telling that I am a FAR better baker than I am cook. So that probably skews my viewpoint on this the other way to yours.

That sounds like an excellent idea and one I may well steal if I continue the adventures on the USS Hyugens for my group.

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I think the point in supplying food aboard a ship is that it is: nutritious, hot, timely, in that order. Seasons are a morale thing (yet, a very important one). When cooking for a crew of hungry sailors, you will probably cook rather simple meals (it’s a warship, not the Four Seasons), but quick and in masses. A cooking focus would, for me, be enough to ensure the cook would not fail in cooking basic meals. Essentially, I’d treat it as a difficulty 0 challenge, unless there’s something special to cook or some disadvantageous trait.

The thing about cooking on a ship is to juggle with all the ingredients, in a confined space, in time. The more I think about it, I’d say it’s conn. You have to organise, plan, make the right moves to the right seconds (sometimes there’s only a very small difference between not enough and too much heat/time/season), follow (sometimes very strict) protocols to the point and order around people in case you have them.

In case it’s about trying new dishes, it can be medicine (fitting special dietary restrictions), science (inventing something new), engineering (using unfitting/improvised equipment). Of course, a good cook will have a decent Command score to handle complaints (and Security will help if complaints management fails).

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The old culinary term may help

Baking is a science
Cooking is an art


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don’t forget xeno biology and xeno anthropology focus for biological or cultural problems about food.
Can’t help thinking about a cook making a “tourte au maroilles”, , a science (computer) task to search the forgotten recipe, a medicine(xenobiology may apply :stuck_out_tongue:) task for making the cheese samples, needs a security task to allow the making of biochemical weapon and an engineering task (replicators) to mass produce.
During the lunch be prepared for some security (unarmed combat) against alien with keen sense of smell, and angry life support engineers
And after the lunch a command(starship regulations) to avoid martial court

Klingons in my game are all allergic to walnuts…


“Everybody drops…”